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concert

‘Move Afrika’ Initiative To Bring More Live Music To Africa Kicks Off With Kendrick Lamar Concert

‘Move Afrika’ was initially launched by the grandson of Nelson Mandela, Kweku, as a means of “promoting health and equity, defending our planet, and creating jobs and economic opportunity” through the power of live music and bringing some of the largest touring artists to Africa.

festival

Burning Man Attendants Trek Home After Storm Flooding Left Tens Of Thousands Stranded

Major flooding caused by a summer storm at this year’s Burning Man Festival left tens of thousands of attendants stranded for days. Finally on Monday, conditions improved enough for event goers to begin their trip out of the Northern Nevada desert.

ai

Scientists Utilizing Artificial Intelligence To Find New Hit Songs And Musicians

According to new research from scientists in California, a robot utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) could be the next step in identifying hit pop songs and artists in the music industry. The scientists said that by utilizing the technology, they’ve been able to identify hit songs with 97% accuracy.  

“By applying machine learning to neurophysiologic data, we could almost perfectly identify hit songs. That the neural activity of 33 people can predict if millions of others listened to new songs is quite amazing. Nothing close to this accuracy has ever been shown before,” says Paul Zak, a professor at Claremont Graduate University and senior author, in a media release

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The AI itself uses a neural network, which is apparently so straightforward that it can also be utilized for streaming service efficiency, TV shows, and movies in general. 

The music industry today is dominated by streaming services. With billions of songs to choose from, it can become challenging for popular apps such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc. to choose which ones their users will listen to, especially among newer artists. 

Professor Zak claims that his colleagues and himself believe that their method is twice as effective as previous models which only showed a 50% success rate. 

In the study itself, participants listened to a set of 24 songs while wearing a skull-cap brain scanner. Throughout the process, they were asked about their preferences while the scientists measured their neurophysiological responses. 

“The brain signals we’ve collected reflect activity of a brain network associated with mood and energy levels,” Zak stated.

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Based on the responses, the team of scientists were able to use their technology to predict market outcomes for certain songs, including the number of streams a song may receive. This process is referred to as “neuroforecasting,” which essentially means using the brain activity of a select group of people to predict how a larger population will react.

According to reports from Study Finds, who reported on the study, “a statistical model identified potential chart hits 69 percent of the time, but this jumped to 97 percent when machine learning was applied to the data. The team found that even by analyzing neural responses to only the first minute of songs, they achieved a success rate of 82 percent.

“This means that streaming services can readily identify new songs that are likely to be hits for people’s playlists more efficiently, making the streaming services’ jobs easier and delighting listeners,” Zak explains.

“If in the future wearable neuroscience technologies, like the ones we used for this study, become commonplace, the right entertainment could be sent to audiences based on their neurophysiology. Instead of being offered hundreds of choices, they might be given just two or three, making it easier and faster for them to choose music that they will enjoy.

“Our key contribution is the methodology. It is likely that this approach can be used to predict hits for many other kinds of entertainment too, including movies and TV shows,” Zak stated.

Cynthia Harris Classical Entertainment

Classical Music in the ‘Neon Mecca of Entertainment’ | Cynthia Harris

Classical music has a long and storied history. Many musicians today are finding innovative ways to breathe new life into this timeless genre. Pianist Cynthia Harris, owner of Classical Entertainment, works to keep this art form alive and thriving. Her company provides live music pulled from many genres for any occasion.

coachella

Coachella Art Installations Give Visitors A Unique World Of Architecture To Explore

Coachella weekend 1 was this past weekend, and one of the standout features of the festival, outside of its performers, is the art installations that appear annually. As weekend 2 quickly approaches, festival goers are looking forward to seeing the unique landscape of immersive installations.

halftime

Rihanna Reveals She Is Pregnant at Superbowl Half-time Show

Rihanna revealed to fans that she is pregnant with her second baby in an unexpected way. The Grammy award-winning singer performed at the 2023 Superbowl half-time show in Phoenix, where she danced on platforms dressed in a fiery red jumpsuit that accentuated a baby bump.

In the first few moments of her set, the singer rubbed her belly and performed with the zipper of her jumpsuit open. Because of the snugness of the red bodysuit she was wearing underneath, it was visible that she was expecting a child.

People were quick to take to the internet to speculate whether the singer was pregnant again. Shortly after Rihanna’s 13-minute set concluded, her representatives confirmed the news to the media.

Rihanna and her partner, rapper A$AP Rocky, had their first child, a son, in May 2022.

Onlookers saw the rapper filming Rihanna’s performance and dancing enthusiastically throughout the half-time show as he cheered her on from the sidelines.

This is not the first time the couple has shared such a momentous announcement with dramatic flair.

During Rihanna’s first pregnancy, the pair shared photographs of the singer’s growing baby bump to announce that she was pregnant.

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Photographer Miles Diggs took the series of photos as part of a pregnancy photo shoot for the couple. With the buttons of her long pink coat undone, Rihanna flaunted her expanding tummy, and lengthy body chains ornamented her outfit.

Before their first baby was born, Rihanna was interviewed by Vogue magazine, where she revealed how she and Rocky became more than friends after a lot of reluctance. The two had known each other for many years.

“People don’t get out of the friend zone very easily with me, and I certainly took a while to get over how much I know him and how much he knows me because we also know how much trouble we can land each other in.”

Their relationship became more serious when the pandemic took hold and quarantines were implemented. Rihanna said Rocky became her “family in that time.”

The two went on a road trip from Los Angeles to New York in the summer of 2020.

“I cooked our food on this little janky grill I bought from Walmart. I still have it, too. It works like nobody’s business. I love the simple things but also the grand adventures. There’s no pretentious my-brand-your-brand bullshit; it’s just us living. I just feel like I can do any part of life by his side.”

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She shared that her first pregnancy was not something the pair had planned, but they were both receptive to the idea of carrying it to term.

“It was just there on the test. I didn’t waste any time. I called him inside and showed him. Then I was in the doctor’s office the next morning, and our journey began.”

Rihanna told British Vogue in March 2020 that she wants to have three to four kids within the next 10 years.

After her son was born, she told Entertainment Tonight that he was a “happy baby” and that she had affectionately taken to freestyling songs to sing to him.

“Oh my god, the mornings, like, seeing his morning face! Seeing a baby with, like, little bags and waking up, and they’re just, like, startled. They’re trying to figure out where they’re at. It’s the cutest. It’s my favorite part of the day,”

Rihanna was elated but reluctant to take on new projects so soon after becoming a new mom. She told Entertainment Tonight, “If I’m going to leave my baby, I’m going to leave my baby for something special.”

Recognizing the gravity of performing at the Superbowl half-time show, she said, “It was now or never for me.”

“It was a challenge that I welcomed. It was a stage bigger than anything I’ve ever done.”

fashion

Kanye West Wears ‘White Lives Matter’ Shirt at Yeezy Fashion Show

Kanye West donned a shirt bearing “White Lives Matter” on its back at his popup fashion show during Paris Fashion Week. He sent several models, some of whom are Black, with t-shirts sharing the same slogan down the runway at his YZYSZN9 show.

The Anti-Defamation League recognizes the slogan as one that is commonly used by white supremacist groups, including the KKK. The Southern Poverty Law Center also acknowledges the “movement” as an extremist group.

“White Lives Matter, a racist response to the civil rights movement Black Lives Matter, is a neo-Nazi group that is growing into a movement as more and more white supremacist groups take up its slogans and tactics.”

Kanye West, who has legally changed his name to Ye, is no stranger to controversy. He made headlines in 2018 after implying slavery was a choice during his interview with radio host Charlamagne Tha God.

Selah Marley, Lauryn Hill’s daughter and Bob Marley’s granddaughter, was among the models who modeled the garment. Candace Owens, a conservative political commentator, sat in the audience wearing a shirt with the same slogan.

The rumors of the popup fashion show began a few days before the Balenciaga mud show, where Ye made his runway debut. On Monday, the Avenue de la Grande Armée was packed with fans.

According to the NYTimes, “Anna Wintour came. So did John Galliano. Demna, the Balenciaga designer, and Cédric Charbit, its chief executive. Alexandre Arnault, the chief marketing officer of Tiffany & Company and a son of the LVMH chieftain Bernard Arnault.”

The show featured a live choir with a host of children from Ye’s Donda Academy in California, including  Ye’s daughter North.

Jaden Smith, who was also in the audience, walked out after the shirts came down the runway, later tweeting his support of the BLM movement, stating “I had to dip” and “we demand a more progressive future.”

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Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, the vogue editor, called it “indefensible behavior” on Instagram. In a series of stories, she shared screenshots of her thoughts on what happened.

“I know what he was trying to do. He was trying to illustrate a dystopian world in the future when whiteness might become extinct or at least would be in enough danger to demand defense…it didn’t land, and it was deeply offensive, violent and dangerous. The danger is that this very premise, the idea that white supremacy is in danger of extinction, is what justifies mass incarceration, murder en masse, indeed even the advent of slavery. The idea that blackness must be snuffed out for it will surely supersede whiteness in power and influence if given the chance, and it’s so hugely irresponsible to furnish the most dangerous extremists with this kind of fiction narrative.”

Kanye responded to the criticism by taking to Instagram and posting screenshots of the writer online.

“This is not a fashion person You speak on Ye Ima speak on you Ask Trevor Noah.”

Model Gigi Hadid came to the writer’s defense, commenting on Ye’s post.

 “You wish u had a percentage of her intellect. You have no idea, haha…. If there’s actually a point to any of your s–t. She might be the only person that could save u. As if the ‘honor’ of being invited to your show should keep someone from giving their opinion? Lol. You’re a bully and a joke.”

She also reposted a statement from José Criales-Unzueta, a Vogue employee, on her Instagram story.

“I was trying very hard not to give that man air time, but publicly bullying someone who criticizes your work on your massive platform is another level of ridiculousness to me. If you can’t take it, don’t dish it. If you can’t take criticism, especially the smart, nuanced, and kind criticism that GKJ provided yesterday’s show, then don’t put work out for public consecution.”

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Ye doubled down on his comments.

“Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter was a scam. Now it’s over. You’re welcome.”

Ye also accused LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault of killing fashion designer Virgil Abloh.

“SPANK MY HAND WITH THE RULER(S) I’LL GO SIT IN THE ‘PRINCIPAL(S)’ OFFICE. CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT MORE IMPORTANT THINGS? LIKE HOW LATE THE SHOW WAS, OR HOW BERNARD ARNAULT KILLED MY BEST FRIEND.”

Tremaine Emory, the creative director of Supreme, responded, “I gotta draw the line at you using Virgil’s death in your ‘ye’ is the victim campaign in front your sycophant peanut algorithm gallery.”

“This time last year you said Virgil’s designs are a disgrace to the black community in front of all your employees at Yeezy -ASK LUCETTE HOLLAND…I GOT ALL THE ‘RECEIPTS’ ( don’t let me get into the things you said about v after his death)

Ye tell the ppl why you didn’t get invited to Virgil’s actual funeral the one before the public one at the museum( and why you weren’t allowed to speak at the public funeral). You knew Virgil had terminal cancer and you rode on him in group chats, at Yeezy, interviews…YOU ARE SO BROKEN. KEEP VIRGIL NAME OUT YOUR MOUTH…KEEP @gabriellak_j NAME OUT YOUR MOUTH…Your not a victim your just an insecure narcissist that’s dying for validation from the fashion world…take care…at least we’ll always have ‘UGANDA’.”

text

Maroon 5’s Adam Levine Accused of Cheating on Pregnant Wife

Maroon 5’s lead singer Adam Levine is facing allegations that he cheated on his wife. One woman claims to have dated him for a year, while three others allege Levine privately sent them inappropriate messages.

award

Taylor Swift Teases New Album “Midnights” At MTV Video Music Awards

Sunday night marked a historic night as Taylor Swift won the biggest award of the night, Video of the Year. 

Her music video for “All Too Well: The Short Film” marked Swift’s third win in the category after previously winning for her videos “Bad Blood” in 2015 and “You Need To Calm Down” in 2019. 

“I know with every second of this moment that we wouldn’t have been able to make this short film if it weren’t for you, the fans because I wouldn’t be able to rerecord my albums if it weren’t for you,” said Swift.

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But along with the headlines covering her big win, she also surprised the world with the announcement that her next big album is on the way.

“I had sort of made up my mind that, if you were going to be this generous and give us this, I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand-new album comes out Oct. 21. And I will tell you more at midnight…” Swift said as she wrapped up her acceptance speech.

At the stroke of midnight, Swift made the official announcement on social media of the arrival of her 10th studio album. 

Swift described the record as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life. This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams.”

“Midnights” marks Swift’s first full length album since her successful album “Folklore” which debuted in 2020 during the pandemic. 

Other than “Folklore,” the only other piece of original music that she released was the song “Carolina” which was featured in the movie “Where the Crawdads Sing.”

The new LP is set to contain 13 tracks within it. “Midnights” will contain fewer songs than her last releases contained. 

In 2020 when Swift dropped both “Folklore” and “Evermore,” both albums contained 16 and 15 songs on them respectively. 

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Her latest re-release of her 2012 album “Red” held 30 songs within the record. 

Upon the end of the announcement online, Swift mentioned “For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching — hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve … we’ll meet ourselves.”

Only time will tell what Swift means by what she is teasing about her newest release and fans can find out when the album drops at midnight on Oct.21.

“Midnights” is now available on pre-order on four different formats: vinyl, CD, cassette and as a digital album.

rapper

Lil Nas X Details ‘Strained’ Relationship With BET Network

Lil Nas X recently expanded on the details of his relationship with the BET network after he called them out for not gaining any nominations at this year’s award ceremony. “My relationship with BET has been painful and strained for quite some time. It didn’t start with this year’s nominations like most people might think.”